Working with state government to conserve our natural heritage

Michigan State University Extension's Michigan Natural Feature Inventory benefits state agencies and the public to conserve the natural heritage of Michigan's flora and fauna.

An example of Michigan's unique ecosystem.

Michigan State University Extension’s Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) discovers, defines and delivers biodiversity data through research and field work to create a database that is used by state agencies and the public to conserve the unique natural heritage of Michigan’s flora and fauna. Data gathered by MNFI through the Natural Heritage Database (NHD) track population trends and ecological requirements while determining the geographic range of threatened and endangered species.

MFNI works closely with the Michigan departments of Natural Resources, Transportation and Environmental Quality to help them carry out their duties with respect to Michigan’s unique natural environments. Through the NHD, MNFI provides scientific expertise and comprehensive information on the location of habitats and rare species, which helps agencies guide land use and management activities. State and federal agencies, tribal communities and the public uses the NHD to help make decisions. In 2016, there were:

  • Nearly 3,000 NHD queries from state agencies.
  • Over 5,000 NHD queries from public and federal agencies.
  • Over 30 research projects for state and federal agencies, and tribes.

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